Concise definitions of legal terms used on the Digital Media Law Project site. (The glossary is currently a work-in-progress. Please use our contact form to suggest additional terms for this glossary.)

Damages search for term

A remedy in the form of monetary compensation to the harmed party.

See also: Actual damages, Compensatory damages, Presumed damages, Punitive damages, Statutory damages
Declaratory judgment search for term

A binding judgment issued by a court that defines the legal relationship between the parties and their rights with respect to the matter before the court.

Defamation search for term

A false statement of fact, whether written or oral, that is communicated to a third-party and injures the subject's reputation.

See also: Libel, Slander, Trade libel Synonyms: defamatory, defamed, For more information see the Defamation section of the legal guide.
Defendant search for term

In a civil matter, the party sued by the plaintiff; in a criminal matter, the party being prosecuted.

Dicta search for term

Short for "obiter dictum," which means in Latin "something said in passing." When judges make comments in opinions that are extraneous to the line of reasoning that leads to the decision in the case, lawyers refer to the comments as "dicta." These comments are not binding authority on other judges.

Dividends search for term

Payments made by a for-profit corporation to its shareholders out of the corporation's profits.

DMCA search for term

Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Passed in 1998, the DMCA extended the reach of copyright law and is generally regarded as favoring the interests of copyright owners, it also created provisions limiting the liability of certain online actors. Section 512 of the DMCA, 17 U.S.C. ยง 512, contains the DMCA's "safe-harbor" provisions for online service providers.

Synonyms: For more information see the DMCA section of the legal guide.
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